Saturday, August 1, 2009

A (Mostly) Vegetarian Dinner

I have (rightfully) been accused of not seeing how anyone can not eat animals or the awesome products they provide us. That being said I do enjoy dishes without meat as long as they are good and don't hope to be glorified simply because they lack one of God's furry creatures.

Being that summer time is in full swing here and we have a ton of produce coming in from the yard I decided to make a meatless meal tonight. It is a challenge to make vegetarian food beat the poor rap it so well deserves most of the time. I was up for a challange.

We, like most every home gardener this time of year have a ridiculous amount of zucchini. Thankfully there are a million and one ways to cook these things. If you are lost for ideas look outside the US for inspiration. Other countries seem to get a lot more creative than we do.

I decided to make zucchini pancakes. Here is (more or less...I'm horrible with recipes) what went in them:

- 2 1/2 lbs zucchini - grated and squeezed mostly dry
- 2 eggs - beaten
- 1 small onion - minced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/4 c flour
- 3/4 c bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- Salt to taste
- olive oil - to cook with

- Grate Zucchini, add 2 t salt, wait 5 minutes (no more), and press in colander till mostly dry.
- Mix with all other ingredients.
- Cook over medium or medium low heat...just like pancakes.
- Plate and top with a bit of grated Romano.

Now, I could not just make this for dinner. I made a sauce as well. A caramelized onion and whiskey porter demi-glace. Yep, that's the name. Sounds cool, huh? Tastes about as great as it sounds.

- Caramelize two onions.
- Add a cup of good (homemade!) chicken stock.
- Reduce.
- Add a cup of porter (a homemade oaked whiskey porter in my case...the goal is to get something not super bitter).
- Reduce till coats the back of spoon.
- Money.

The sauce went down on the plates and the pancakes stacked on top, dusted with Romano.

For a side we mandolined some cucumber, onions and tomatoes. Salt, pepper, and 15 well placed drops of 15 year old balsamic.

"Ahh" you say, "but today is Saturday and your wife is at work. Did your kids eat it?"

No, not really. Alexis is just a straight up ham for the camera and Jake was sick so he just packed away a tube of Ritz crackers (not even kidding). Alexis ate hers under pain of not being able to finish Kung Fu Panda.

I could have gotten her to eat sweatbreads with a tripe sauce (not a bad idea actually).

It was stellar. It would have been better if my lovely wife would have been present and/or that guy I called and invited to dinner (Daniel C I am talking about you...your loss buddy), but it was still great. A homemade Belgian Saison accompanied the meal in what might have been the best beer pairing I have ever had.


  1. That sounds so good! For lunch yesterday I used the zucchini you gave me and made a great Frittata using several herbs from my garden.

  2. A wonderful meal; I love the shot of Alexis! "Money"... love it. :)

    The beer sounds, good, too. I'm stealing the image of Alexis and putting it on my FB page. :)

  3. Daniel will be bummed, but as a consolation I will try to re-create this recipe (once I have a kitchen that is:)

  4. @ Sandy - Good to hear the zucchini got put to good use. I was going to do a frittata, but thought of the sauce and had to do pancakes.

    @ Brock - Steal away. You can try the beer when you come out.

    @ Rachael - Good to hear. Hopefully this will be sooner rather than later!